Thursday, February 02, 2006

More Book Thoughts

Narrative arc is a subtle, fleeting thing. You start out with a framework - a list of chapters and their summaries - and you think you've got something. Then, you realize, parts of the story, though interesting, have holes, and don't quite flow with the direction you're taking the thing. So you change on the fly. Take it where it needs to go. Make the pieces fit by putting them in different places than you thought they belonged, then taking some new things that you didn't even think would go in.

I started a chapter tonight. Wrote nearly 1500 words. Everything clicked. It worked. Thing is, it wasn't a chapter I plotted out on my outline. Wasn't a character I thought I'd include. Wasn't a topic I'd planned to address. But it fits, and it fits with the grand scheme, and I'm beginning to understand how writing works. Kind of like my blog posts. You start out with a topic, and you have no damned idea where the thing's gonna go, so you follow it, follow it, follow it, and write for all you're worth, and then, once you're on the other side of it, you step back and look at the whole, and it just works. It works because you're in the moment, and that's where the moment brought you, and if you produce the thing properly, and polish it up the right way, the readership's bound to feel the same thing.

Six weeks ago, I thought I had a framework for this thing. Thought it served my purpose, and thought it was where the book needed to go. Dive in, though. Immerse yourself in this shit, and the view looks a whole hell of a lot different from within than it did from without, when you created some set of boundaries simply because you thought that's what writers do before they write books.

Sure, you need to know where you're going, and where all this is going to end up, but one paragraph doesn't define what's going to go into the keyboard for the 7,000 words - or whatever it takes - that's going to get you there, and that's where the fun is. When the stress of having a deadline simply floats away and you're here, at the keyboard, and writing is fun again because you're just doing it. Just letting it fly like you did on the blog, doing the shit that got everyone's attention in the first place. Letting your mind go back to the club itself, and standing there, on that motherfucking box, and telling everyone what you see.

I'm into this thing. Way into this thing, and anyone who knows me knows I've been putting a lot of thought into the entire process. But writing this damned thing's getting fun, and when I'm having fun, that's when you're gonna get the good shit. I guarantee it.